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Thread: looking for a travel mando

  1. #1

    Default looking for a travel mando

    I have a nice rigel but looking for a travel mando around 5 to 8 hundred , any suggestions? thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: looking for a travel mando

    Not sure what you are looking for in a travel mandolin, light, quiet, less expensive. I have a couple of old bent top mandolins that play well, sound good, and are loud enough to keep up if you get into a jam. If you can set them up yourself, under your budget too.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: looking for a travel mando

    Quote Originally Posted by kjbllc View Post
    I have a nice rigel but looking for a travel mando around 5 to 8 hundred , any suggestions? thanks
    Not to denigrate them as simply "travel instruments," but I think that flattops offer great value in that price range. This Flatiron looks great:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/149784#149784

    Or, if you want one already worn and further devalued, there is this alternative:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/151404#151404
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  4. #4

    Default Re: looking for a travel mando

    yes looking for something that plays well, I pm'd pops 1 .
    I am also looking for 1 1/4" neck width also.

    thanks for the links also

  5. #5
    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: looking for a travel mando

    I am with Pat. I think the flat top route is an excellent answer to your travel mandolin needs. Lots of volume, easy to pack and a lot of fun to play.
    2017 Collings MT (Gloss Top, Ivory Top Binding, Wide Nut)
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    Registered User mreidsma's Avatar
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    Default Re: looking for a travel mando

    NFI - but I have heard some good things about Bruce Weber's Ranger travel mandolins. They look similar to the old Weber Sweet Peas, and are well within your price range: https://www.montanalutherie.com/prod...avel-mandolin/

    Sam Lyman (samlyman here on the cafe) has posted a few times about his mandolin, which makes trips on the bike with Sam. Here's a video from a few years back: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaBeWgdkSI4

    Mandolins are small, but sometimes a mandolin is not actually small enough if you need to fit it in a bag, or if weight is an issue.

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    Default Re: looking for a travel mando

    New, I'd checkout a Kentucky KM-250.
    Used, I'd find a JBovier A5

  10. #8

    Default Re: looking for a travel mando

    Quote Originally Posted by pheffernan View Post
    Not to denigrate them as simply "travel instruments," but I think that flattops offer great value in that price range. This Flatiron looks great:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/149784#149784

    Or, if you want one already worn and further devalued, there is this alternative:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/151404#151404
    I travel a lot with a flatiron flattop. mc-2 I thjnk. It’s really great. I keep it in a soft uke case and can tuck it above the luggage on a plane, etc. it’s got a great tone and volume and is very comfortable to play. I like it so much I bought three of them.

    I also have a couple of the old Martin backpacker mandolins. They’re ok but much quieter and less fun to play. Super cheap though, and tough.

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    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: looking for a travel mando

    Quote Originally Posted by kjbllc View Post
    I am also looking for 1 1/4" neck width also.
    A nut that wide is a bit less common but can be found in the Big Muddy wide neck model:

    https://reverb.com/item/9949894-big-...ith-k-k-pickup

    And this one is currently available:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Big-Muddy-M...4383.l4275.c10
    Last edited by pheffernan; Mar-03-2020 at 5:48pm.
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  14. #10
    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: looking for a travel mando

    Love these options, Pat! Tempting...
    2017 Collings MT (Gloss Top, Ivory Top Binding, Wide Nut)
    2020 Eastman MDO305 Octave
    Two Old Gibson “teens” A4’s

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    Registered User Aaron Bohnen's Avatar
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    Default Re: looking for a travel mando

    I've found travel mandolins to be a tough place to look for a satisfying instrument. I've tried:

    Weber Sweet Pea (nice neck, but sounds very small)
    Martin Backpacker (durable, can't say much more good about the one I had)
    Big Muddy MM-8 the "mini-muddy" model (not much smaller than the full-sized big muddy which I liked much better)
    Seagull S8 (surprisingly loud but had a tone I didn't really love)

    None really got far enough from the "thin-sounding" flavour to really find a place in my heart. Of course they *are* small so that might go with the territory a little!

    Given all that (and with NFI) I like the suggestion a few posts above for the black Flatiron flat-top in the Classifieds right now: https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/151404#151404. I know it's not a lot smaller than a regular-sized mandolin but they're fun to play, sound good, don't cost too much and wouldn't probably be too hard to sell on later if necessary.

    Enjoy!
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    Default Re: looking for a travel mando

    I've been pretty pleased with my Seagull S8. It's small enough to put in my carry-on backpack and still have enough room for clothes etc - so only one item of luggage.
    I've travelled to New Zealand, Crete, Ireland and London like that and I've found it quite satisfying to play in a variety of situations.

    Here's me playing it.

    https://www.facebook.com/daggergordo...270712795/?t=3
    David A. Gordon

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    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: looking for a travel mando

    I've carried my pancake Flatiron all over the place! Then again, I've carried my 1920 A3 all over the place. (I'm a geologist.)

    They both have wide(r) nuts.

    f-d
    ˇpapá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '30 L-1, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5, '14 OM28A

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    Default Re: looking for a travel mando

    For that nut width you may want to consider calling Bruce Webber, Sonny Morris, Redline, etc, and discuss getting a custom build. There are a few options out there with that width, but not many easily available in your range. My RM-1 has that width, so I get the appeal. Good luck!
    Chuck

  19. #15

    Default Re: looking for a travel mando

    I also have a big muddy. I used a trick I saw in a violin luthier book - put a him strip of Teflon plumbing tape under the bridge. Makes it a lot louder. Also out a red murphy 11 hole bridge on it. It’s actully louder then some of m carve tops now, good tone. So that might work if you want the wider nut.

  20. #16
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: looking for a travel mando

    Quote Originally Posted by lflngpicker View Post
    Love these options, Pat! Tempting...
    Gee, who do I know with big paws and a vacancy in the flattop department . . .
    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
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  21. #17

    Default Re: looking for a travel mando

    never heard of the teflon trick

  22. #18
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: looking for a travel mando

    Quote Originally Posted by kjbllc View Post
    never heard of the teflon trick
    I never found my unmodified Mid-Missouri to be lacking in volume. YMMV.
    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
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    Registered User J Mangio's Avatar
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    Default Re: looking for a travel mando

    If a 1 3/16” nut will work, jump on the Lm600 in the classifieds.
    2019 The Loar LM700 VS ( Intact )
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    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: looking for a travel mando

    Luthier Tom Haywood builds one, or anyway has built one.

    Thread
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  26. #21
    Registered User GrooverMcTube's Avatar
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    Default Re: looking for a travel mando

    A gal showed up with a little travel mando from Montana Lutherie at last week's get together.

    Cute little thing. In the $500 range. Looks like you can order a wide nut. NFI

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  28. #22

    Default Re: looking for a travel mando

    I don't really comment on theae types of topics, but I now have two instruments I choose from when needng a compact travel instrument:

    Seagull S8 mandolin
    Pretty compact, slim case, surprisingly loud.

    Ukulele Strumstick
    I restrung it to CGDA tuning, and it has been my travel mandola / tenor guitar for years. I even have a capo for the fifth fret to play in the mandolin range.

  29. #23
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: looking for a travel mando

    A couple of other non traditional options - Breedlove Crossover oval hole. Or used Breedlove Quartz if you can find one. The neck might be big enough for your needs and they are not too fragile.

    Otherwise, another model to consider would be a Kentucky KM-272 or similar. Oval hole and a good instrument for the price, IMO.
    1935 Gibson A50, 2018 Collings MT, 1989 Flatiron Performer A, 1929 Gibson A Jr., 1935 Kalamazoo KM-21, 2018 Eastman MDO-305
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  30. #24

    Default Re: looking for a travel mando

    thanks a lot of good suggestions!

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